Foreign-Born Women More Likely to Die From Heart Disease Than American Women
United States residents born in other countries have a lower death rate
from all causes than native-born residents, women who moved here from
other countries actually have a higher risk of dying from heart disease
and stroke, according to a new study.
Alexander Muennig of the New School University in New York , lead
author of the study, said the results are consistent with previous
research showing that people who move to this country are generally
healthier than those born here.
foreign-born women, there were 162 deaths per 100,000 due to congestive
heart disease compared with 122 per 100,000 among women born in the
U.S., the study found. The death rate among stroke victims was 58 per
100,000 foreign-born women compared to 49 per 100,000 native-born
women, according to the findings.
hypertension and hypertensive heart disease also were higher among
foreign-born women compared to those who are native-born, suggesting
that higher rates of hypertension may be partly responsible for the
higher rates of heart disease deaths, Muennig said.
researchers found that death rates from other causes, such as cancer
and diabetes, were lower among the foreign-born men and women who now
reside in the U.S. than among native-born residents. The study suggests
that foreign-born women may have higher rates of heart disease due to
factors such as lower rates of hormone replacement therapy use, the
research team added.
study said the findings could be due to a shift in the demographic mix
of new U.S. immigrants. For example, people from India and Pakistan
accounted for a larger proportion of new U.S. residents in the late
1990s compared to the early part of that decade; these immigrants
generally have more fat in their diets than immigrants from countries
such as China and Korea, the survey reported.
"The time has
come to include the newest Americans in the public health agenda so
that their health needs can be better understood and better met,"
Peter Alexander Muennig, New School University, 66 W. 12th St., New
York, NY 10011; (212) 229-5600, www.newschool.edu.